A new member of the North Devon Festival team is grinning and bearing it as he endeavours to complete the Barnstaple Fringe challenge by attending more 50 music gigs throughout June. But then, he is a soft touch - in fact Jonty is a teddy bear and winner

A new member of the North Devon Festival team is grinning and bearing it as he endeavours to complete the Barnstaple Fringe challenge by attending more 50 music gigs throughout June.

But then, he is a soft touch - in fact Jonty is a teddy bear and winner of the "bear factor" competition run by festival staff on their Facebook page.

Fans were asked to vote for the bear they felt would be mist up to the task of going to each of the gigs in venues around the town this month, many of them free of charge and featuring some of the best of local and visiting musical talent.

Jonty has already bee spotted watching jazz band Led Bib at Broomhill Arts Hotel near Muddiford, Rory Mcleod at the Queen's Theatre's Gallery Café plus PickPockets and SkyRockets at the White Horse in Barnstaple.

Photographic evidence of his exploits can be seen on the North Devon Festival Facebook page, while the full Barnstaple Fringe programme is available to download from www.northdevonfestival.org.